Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Day two starts off colder than days one and zero: I end up in a beanie and scarf amidst my layers, and a note to self never to take my weather app for granted anymore. Lagos is two seasons: cool/dusty and steamy hot/rainy, so anything else is too complex for me to pack for. Cue me arriving Milford with only layers to save me.
The day’s crits are more subdued, and and involve more ruminating than yesterday’s. I’ve never been within a more professional critique circle–the crits are thoughtful, respectful, and truly geared towards helping. We get more Milford quotes today–I’m particularly amused by Jackie asking Val to dissolve a kid in his story. Tea o’ clock happens, and features this fab cake that I have absolutely no idea what it is, but I’m so in love with I could go to bed with it. Too bad I’m not that much of a sweet tooth, yeah?
I take a walk before dinner, sit in the cold on a bench overlooking Mount Snowdon, and watch the mountain sheep for a little bit. Don’t tell anyone, but this is a personal fantasy of mine: to sit in a bench and watch mountains while writing. Now, I don’t get no writing done, but I do have Aravind Adiga’s White Tiger with me (copped it off the shelf on the upstairs hallway of the Plas) and some time to kill. I read off the opening pages and press the shutter in my head for lifetime posterity of this moment. In that one flicker of the camera, I feel so spiritual, so connected. I may/may not have astral-travelled a bit.
Then of course, I pull out my mobile, return to the 21st century, and muck around with actual camera angles.
After dinner, we sit in the library and chat over wine and beer. I sit in the corner of a couch and through the discourse, ponder about how warm, how inviting, how reassuring this circle is. I wonder how I can pack some of this warmth and take it home, to young writers like me who, God knows, need more of this in their lives. I will keep thinking this until I go upstairs and retire after a few shots of whisky.
Milford + Trigonos + Nantlle is an amazing formula. Quote me on this anywhere. Tell them Suyi said so.